Planning a Retreat?


Let us help you plan your event! A day or overnight retreat is an excellent way for both adults and youth to heighten their close walk with the Lord. A retreat provides exciting possibilities for stewardship, outreach, worship and fellowship.

Organizing a retreat is simple if a few guidelines are followed in the early planning stages.

First rule — Pray. Seek the guidance and leadership of the Lord. Then look to your church pastor, youth directors or other leaders that may have already experienced a retreat to help with planning.

Here are some additional helps for you as you plan and organize your retreat:

Initial Questions:

1. What kind of retreat do you want?

2. What is your target group?

3. What is the time frame? (one day, two day, etc.)

4. Do you want your program to include lectures, discussions, workshops, sports or other games?

5. Will you need speakers, leaders, music, etc.?

6. What are your financial resources? Will everyone pay for their own way, or will expenses offset with other funds? Make sure you don’t plan something that is out of the resource range of your target group.

Planning Guidelines:

1. Set up committee to work with you on retreat. Designate leaders to help design program in specific areas — worship, Bible study, music, food, sports, etc.)

2. Set date and time. Make sure this is planned well in advance to give ample time to advertise in your church.

3. Select retreat location well in advance. Contact retreat center and set up date. Keep in mind most retreat centers book well in advance and early bookings will guarantee your date.

4. Select a theme. The theme is one of the most important facets of a retreat. It gives you a building block to build your program around. Make sure the theme is of interest to your target audience. Have committee members work together in incorporating all events around theme.

5. Advertise! Work invested in talking up or promoting your retreat will pay off in the long run. Put up posters, advertise in news or church papers, and contact personally.

6. Hold regular progress meetings with your committee. Send out flyers or call all those who plan to attend to update on plans.

7. Require that your retreat’s participants send money in advance.

A Week Before the Retreat:

1. Contact retreat center with a count for meals and send in equipment needs so area will be ready on arrival.

2. Send or fax in program schedule. (This is important so activities may be scheduled around others who may be at the retreat center.

3. Go over Retreat Directors’ information sheet with counselors so that all are familiar with regulations of the retreat center.

4. If renting dorm space make sure all participants are aware they need to bring their own bed and bath linens. Motels are furnished with all linens.

Upon arrival at TBE:

1. Check in with retreat coordinator on arrival. Obey all regulations for retreat center. Remember, several groups may be at the retreat center at one time and regulations are designed to allow for a safe and memorable retreat for all.

2. On youth retreats — make sure they obey the 11 p.m. curfew on the grounds. Special planning of the committee in advance of arrival scheduling indoor activities after 11 will be necessary.

3. Arrange for time to make payment to retreat center.

4. Keep a clean retreat area. Keep all trash picked up in dorms and conference areas. Observe request on check out procedures in your check-in packet.

5. Texas Baptist Encampment offers a God centered, friendly atmosphere of comfort and beauty, and we pray you will have a most memorable retreat with a closer walk with Lord.